User Generated Video Seeks a Business Model

Last week Sony relaunched as  Sony purchased Grouper a year ago for $65 million.  Grouper was orginally positioned as YouTube-like, video sharing site.  Crackle will leverage Sony's vast media assets to create channels of content drawn from users, from Sony's archives, and from orginal works commissioned for Crackle.  Content viewers, on and across its syndication network will rate content.  The most popular content will recieve higher promotion and potentially be given an opportunity to make programming for Sony Television.  Dangling an avenue to fame is potentially a powerful draw for quality, advertiser-appropriate, user generated content.  In the mean time, the Sony content-incubator will prime the pump with professionally produced content.  Interestingly, the majority of the programming that airs on Current TV is rumored to be commissioned, rather that volunentarily submitted by user.  The jury is still out if user videos can ever reach the quality required to support a high-traffic, ad-supported media property.